Insight for how Lord Onisyr ships things

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I've touched on this topic in my guide for how I write things but I've been thinking on doing something a little more in depth for a while. This is a topic I've seen brought up a lot, especially with Book of Circus and the upcoming Kuro musical. I have been waxing a little philosophical about on FB so why not get a little more into it now.

Warning this will be a little long and possibly a little ranty. A warning also: these are only my personal opinions and I am also going to air my personal opinions on some other ships. If you are the type to feel personally attacked if someone doesn't like your ship then please leave now. I will hide any comments that start attacking me for this. 

I usually don't ship things very easily and when I do it can get really complicated. The way that a lot of people do ship things and how insistent they can get about ships is pretty much alien to me, and I know a lot of this has to do with perspective. 
here is a little guide to the considerations I make when I do ship something.

The first thing you have to understand is my view of relationships is very complicated and at times very skewed. My own relationship history has been very negative. Not going to go into details, but I'm at the point of being exceedingly cynical about love and seeing relationships as a big can of worms that I don't know if I want to open in the near future.

Plus I have observed a lot of different dynamics with other relationships. I have been to an elaborate wedding that ended in an acrimonious divorce a few years later. I have seen unhealthy marriages that have lasted decades. I have seen people who were happily married for decades suddenly divorce. I have seen relationships go between loving to hateful to loving and up and down for years. I have seen people stay in abusive relationships for years. I have seen people whose partner dies and they have to try to rebuild their lives without their long loving partner. I have seen very positive polyamorous relationships and I have seen hellishly negative polyamorous relationships. I have seen couples who stayed together for a decade and decided they finally wanted to get officially married. When civil unions first became legal in my state, I went to a mass union ceremony at the statehouse where I watched couples who had been together for decades finally able to make it legal. (Thankfully gay marriage is now legal in my state). I have seen my parents stay together for 36 years and I see their dynamics good and bad. 

I have zero ideals about love, romance, destiny/"meant to be," but I believe that love is possible for however long it lasts. In the pagan tradition, marriages are good for as long as love remains. Love comes and goes, people are complicated, relationships are complicated, and relationships require a lot of care and work, yet there are many that need to end.

Add this to my usual obsessive details about characterization and plotting. When I ship something, I never do it easily. I have no concept of OTP. I have my own preferences of who I like to see together, but I bear no illusions that any of them are unbreakable, absolutely set in concrete, perfect relationships that cannot be touched or denied. 

First off if I am going to ship something it absolutely has to make sense for me. I never ship anything just for aesthetic value. Even if I wanted to ship something for aesthetic value, my mind has to come up with a story behind how it would work and how it would happen. And that story has to be down to the littlest detail. In that same vein I'm not afraid to twist around situations or manipulate characterization to make something work. I usually like to twist around characters and plots anyway and that goes doubly true with shipping. Usually this works, though there has been sometimes that I couldn't buy a ship no matter how much twisting and plotting I did.

One thing I've said about my own writing that goes doubly for shipping is canon is a guideline but it's not untouchable. I I try to keep to canon and the intended characterization, but I'm not opposed to manipulating it to serve my vision. As I just said, I love finding ways to twist around canon within the scope of believability plus I am not afraid to go a little into AU territory either.

Canon does not dictate who I do and do not ship. I don't give a crap if a couple is canon, is hinted at as canon, or is the furthest thing from canon. As I said I tend to preserve characterization, but even that can be twisted to a certain extent with the appropriate prodding. I don't believe the canonical nature of a pairing makes it more legitimate and I don't think canon or alleged canon is a law for or against pairing or not pairing someone. 

Let's look at the very first fanfic I ever wrote: The Lesser Evil. Drizzt and Cattie-Brie had just been confirmed as canon and were a book away from getting married. What did I do in the Lesser Evil? I killed Cattie-Brie off so I could turn Drizzt into an evil SOB. My next fic Midsummer? Drizzt fucks around on Cattie with Innovindil, Cattie gets pissed, Drizzt fucks Innovindil again, Cattie then fucks Jarlaxle then she fucks Innovindil. It was a big mashup of swinging and infidelity and it is the perfect example of how I ship things. I will also note I tried to do all of the above and keep it within the scope of believability for a character.

I will toy with established canon relationships. Couples break up, couples get complicated, partners die, why are characters immune from that? Hence why if characters are even hinted at having an interest in each other in canon that does not mean a hill of beans to me. 

I also keep in mind that not all characters have canonical romances. Just because Character A admits to thinking about Character B and or expresses concern for said character, that does not mean there's true love there that an never be broken. I do think a lot of people interpret or read into things differently than the author intended. I also think some authors inject a lot of fanservice and baiting. Sherlock is a good example. I love the show but yes I'm aware a lot of baiting goes on.

I also believe in the power of friendship and the broship. Romantic relationships are not a higher form of relationship. Some of the best most heroic relationships (and some of the most abusive and harmful relationships) can be friendships. I love exploring character dynamics through friendship. There are a lot of characters a lot of people see as couples that I purely see as really close friends or spirit siblings to whatever degree. Examples: Mello and Matt, Ciel and Sebastian, Grell and Ron, the list goes on. 

Another topic I frequently explore is people having sex and being intimate for the sake of something other than love. People have sex for pleasure and this isn't a horrible, greedy thing unlike what many societies has taught people. Some people just want to fuck. And then some people have sex for power, some do it out of guilt, some do it for deep hate, some do it just to experiment. I love exploring the dynamics of why two characters might have sex. And, like I said above, I like exploring the dynamic of characters who are not intimately involved. 

I will also experiment with character sexual orientations. I will have characters and couples who are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, asexual, and everything in between and I will ship het, yaoi, yuri, and poly. Sexual orientation is a very complicated thing and there is gray to everything. People find out about their orientations, people will stay in denial of them, , people might realize they aren't what they always thought they were, and people might experiment but will realize they are still the orientation they see themselves as. 

For example: I portray Grell as gay, yet I still will ship him with Madam Red. And I will do this by examining the complicated nuances of their relationship and of why they might have sex, especially why Grell would get intimate with a body he is not sexually interested in. Like I said there's reasons why people have sex and it's not always out of natural desire or attraction. 

I also will explore the dynamic of monogomy versus polyamory. What characters would get jealous? What characters would be in an open relationship? What characters only have that occasional fuck and tell the tale later? What characters like to swing? What characters can coexist in a polyamorous relationship? A big example of a character I do this with is Grell. I portray Grell as a hedonist and a libertine who really isn't all that possessive. He would get pissed if someone he likes doesn't touch him but touches someone else (i.e. Sebastian with the nun) but he's not jealous or possessive. I wrote this in that Ronilliam fic I did; in that story Grell has some relationship with William but encourages Will and Ron to go have some private time.

Another big thing I explore is no relationship is always ever just flowers and hearts. People are complicated and relationships are complicated and I will explore the nuances between. Just because couple is together doesn't mean they're going to stay together. I don't believe in "happily ever after" and I don't believe in pairings being so perfect they can't be touched.

I prefer exploring positive relationships, but on occasion I will also explore the whole range of unhealthy relationships. Like people a lot of characters have a dark side and many themes will come up like exploitation, abuse, manipulation, etc. I will examine these. I don't shy away from pairing problematic couples, but I fully am aware and I am very transparent about the fact this couple is negative and problematic. I know there are some who say certain characters should never be paired because they are negative or abusive. I say pair who you want but be aware of these characters' dark sides. Be careful about writing hearts and flowers for characters who will be anything but and you're better off exploring these negative nuances.

If I ever wrote SebCiel, I would point out the fact Ciel is a child and Sebastian is a demon. If I ever wrote pure to canon Grelliam I would make it clear Grell is highly unstable with an unreciprocated, stalkerish attachment to William; and I would write that William expresses nothing but contempt for Grell and violently attacks him when he can. I wrote one L/Light piece where L essentially controls light as a powertrip. 

Like I said, I might bend characterization or plot to make a could work. Grelliam is another huge example. By my interpretation, Grell loves William but Grell is highly unstable; whereas William seems to really dislike Grell but tolerates him on a shallow level. In the Coil storyline I do write them as former lovers with a long friendship who reconnect. I know this is done based on headcanon and I know this isn't entirely in character. But it is how I prefer to see them as a couple and it is how I try to write them as in character as possible.

I do have my NoTP's, but these are just pairings that I personally dislike. This depends on the nature and personality of the character and their power dynamics. Like I said I use canon as a guideline as opposed to a rule, but there are some characters in general I do not like seeing together for various reasons.

For example: I am not a fan of shipping William and Ronald for this exact reason. I see theirs as an employee/boss relationship. I have been working in everything from retail to offices to field reporting and I am really uncomfortable with the idea of an older boss and a much younger employee having an affair because of the power dynamic. I was very opposed to Will/Grell for the same reasons, until the Will the Reaper OVA came out and said that Will and Grell are peers, only William ended up getting promoted over Grell at one point. SebCiel is another good example of my NoTP for reasons I mentioned above. Also I have a huge problem with L/Light. Canonically it's stated these two hate each other and they're essentially trying to kill each other. Yes they have a lot of respect for each other and I can see Light feeling a little bad after L died. However I don't see them as loving and devoted in any way, nor do I see them as unconditional best friends. I tried writing a mutual relationship once and just couldn't do it. I did write a few creepy hatesex powertrip type things between them. 

The biggest thing I will also add to this: These are all my personal opinions and preferences. You don't have to agree with me and I don't have to agree with you, but I want you to do your own thing. No two people are going to look at the same material and no two people are going to want to ship the same things. Your OTP might be my NoTP, but you have fun with whatever inspires you. Just because I don't like it doesn't mean I don't think you shouldn't be doing it. It is an incredible gift to have inspiration and I think people should run with that gift.

Ultimately these are relationships between fictional characters. I can understand how people would put their real life preferences and experiences into a fictional couple. However don't make a fictional relationship too personal. If someone doesn't like what you like, do not take it as a personal attack. Same goes if someone likes something you hate. Fictional characters and universes are words on a page; they're not real people. Fictional universes and characters are made to be explored and manipulated. Authors might never make a couple canon, authors might play around with characters. That's what fan works are for; to make these characters and universes your own in your own head and space. 

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